Cheltenham Festival

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13 Feb 23 13:16
Date Joined: 04 Dec 06
| Topic/replies: 1,961 | Blogger: brandyontherocks's blog
With too many races at the festival now leading to some weak races. Which are the ones you believe should be shelved?

Mine would be;

The Boodles.
Martin Pipe
NH Chase. (In its current format)
Pause Switch to Standard View What races would you dump?
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Report sageform February 13, 2023 4:44 PM GMT
The NH chase no longer has the point that it once had. It was primarily for point to point and late maturing (and slow) horses ridden by amateurs and I quite enjoyed it when a reliable pointer won at big odds as the Irish 6yos that had been kept for the race and backed off the boards fell on the first circuit. Oh for another Fuzzy Logic!
Report duffy February 13, 2023 5:29 PM GMT
Now the winners of the race are prominent in the betting for subsequent Gold Cups
Report brandyontherocks February 13, 2023 6:48 PM GMT
It is just another novice chase now, giving more options for trainers.
Report shlotter February 13, 2023 11:57 PM GMT
No make the meeting Six days. Make it the absolute jewel in the crown it deserves to be at that time of year. We can have the novice championship hurdle final, ladies hurdle, chase and bumper, bring back the novice handicap chase, thrown in a qualifying race over two miles  (actually a mares bumper as well), bring back the Cathcart and mildn@y of flete to the original way, a celebrity bumper,, a charity sweepstakes, have the Gold Cup on the final day on a Sunday, have the first day on what was the park course, with the crescendo being on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Move the Midlands National to an alternative slot with a bonus pot, not only is everyone happy, the true winner will be British racing as they will maybe have an opportunity to win a race
Report jimnast February 14, 2023 9:40 AM GMT
Why would you want to get rid of the bumper ?
Report brandyontherocks February 14, 2023 9:25 PM GMT
Jim, only because I think it is a waste of a season for a horse to spend a whole campaign going for this race.
Report strontium February 14, 2023 9:39 PM GMT
- Cross Country - There isn't the program to support this race at a championship meeting.
- Turners
- Pertemps - The whole qualifying set-up encourages cheating. Scrap it, or make it a standard open handicap.
- Plate - Every Cheltenham meeting has a 2 1/2 m handicap chase. Strengthen those by scrapping this.
- Mares Nov Hurdle - Not needed - at that stage, these horses should be running in the Supreme/Ballymore/Triumph
- Kim Muir - Nobody needs a consolation race for the Ultima, and the Festival does not need three amateur races.
- Pipe - A consolation race for the Coral Cup.   

Also, I'd restructure the NH Chase - make it open to all jockeys and push it back to 4 m.

Do that, you get a lovely three-day Festival.
Report strontium February 14, 2023 9:41 PM GMT
PS - I'd also bring back the proper names for the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle and the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. It's disgraceful that these great names of the sport are binned for tin-pot, gone tomorrow, sponsorships.
Report jimnast February 15, 2023 8:33 AM GMT

They have even changed the name of the arkle barSad
Report jimnast February 15, 2023 8:33 AM GMT
Fair point brandy .
Report Bentring February 15, 2023 10:50 AM GMT
Martin pipe is staying finding the G1 horse is easier than you think,you just have to remove those rose tinted ones HTH
Report penzance February 15, 2023 3:38 PM GMT
2 1/2M Nov' Chse.
Report Hibore February 15, 2023 4:04 PM GMT
I wouldn’t get rid of anything. I think you lot are forgetting how hard it was to pick any winners when it was 3 days. At least six or seven 25/1 or bigger winners in the old format. The only guaranteed winning bet was Ireland to have under 4 winners. How things have changed.
Report duffy February 15, 2023 4:35 PM GMT
I'd get rid of the Champion Hurdle, in recent years it has been a terrible drain on the Mares Hurdle.
Report sageform February 15, 2023 7:56 PM GMT
You don't have to watch or bet on every race. Have a break, go for a walk. I would probably scratch the last race on Friday, I will have had enough by then.
Report shlotter February 16, 2023 10:51 AM GMT
There is a very valid case for making the meeting six days, running Tuesday to having the Gold Cup on Sunday. Then the English can have a winner can’t they?
Report strontium February 16, 2023 11:00 AM GMT
Hibore - I can (try to) pick winners at any old meeting. At the Festival, I want to see the best horses (and jockeys) racing against each other.
Report sageform February 16, 2023 1:12 PM GMT
But the trainers and owners don't and they have to pay the bills. We need appearance money for the winners of key trials to encourage more to contest the main races at Cheltenham and Aintree.
Report brandyontherocks February 16, 2023 2:52 PM GMT
Correct, Stront.

4 novice hurdles is ridiculous.

4 novice chases giving trainers too much choice.

A novice hurdle for juveniles!!! Why???

Duplicate handicaps.
Report brandyontherocks February 16, 2023 2:53 PM GMT
Meant to say.....

Handicap for juveniles!!!!!
Report shlotter February 16, 2023 4:29 PM GMT
Revamped Cheltenham festival

Day one. Tuesday.
Park course
Fred Winter Hurdle, Pertemps Final, ladies Champion Hurdle, Kim Muir/Fulke Walwyn, conditionals gold cup, mares bumper

Day two. Wednesday
Park course
Coral cup,  military hurdle, mildmay of flete chase,
Grand annual chase, ladies cross country, amateurs x country, conditionals bumper final

Day three Thursday
Old course
Ladies champion hurdle, rsa chase, rsa hurdle, x country, dawn run hurdle, novices handicap chase, national hunt chase,  champion bumper

Day four Friday
Old course
Supreme novice hurdle, Arkle chase, Champion hurdle,  handicap chase, queen mother chase,
Military chase final (bonus race for royal artillery/grand military races), amateur bumper

Day Five Saturday
New course
Triumph Hurdle, Albert Bartlett, Martin pipe hurdle, stayers hurdle, Ryanair chase), mares chase,  charity sweepstakes (legends/celebrities)

Day Six Sunday

Foxhunters, gold cup,  Road to Cheltenham Final chase, Road to Cheltenham Hurdle Final, Cathcart chase (tinkered format), nhs hurdle series final, country hurdle.

That would be in keeping with traditional festival ways, providing more opportunities for horses where they have options limited, but by also raising the profile of certain races, the benefits are there to be had.
Report duffy February 16, 2023 5:05 PM GMT
I think another interesting innovation would be to scrap the current handicapping system and instead instill a new system where jockeys are handicapped on how many times they use the whip.

Each race would see horses inserted into an individual stall with the jockey who has an aggregate of fewer strikes being sat out front at the beginning of the race, this would further encourage the jockeys to stop the brutality they are currently inflicting on their mounts.
Report strontium February 16, 2023 5:19 PM GMT
Correct Brandy, although technically the Triumph and Winter are 4 yo hurdles - the horses don't have to be novices, and some will have won hurdles in France that mean they are not.
Report Hibore February 16, 2023 5:34 PM GMT
strontium 16 Feb 23 11:00
Hibore - I can (try to) pick winners at any old meeting. At the Festival, I want to see the best horses (and jockeys) racing against each other.

So you think horses should fall into the 2mile or 3mile 2 furlong category? Ryanair and Turners were welcome introduction’s to the festival. Also handicaps for the 4 year olds. These races allow horses to run under their best conditions rather than trying to adapt to the 3 day festival. I take you would prefer Allaho running the last two years in the Gold Cup ? To me that is a shame as he’s been one of the highlights of the festival.
Report Bentring February 16, 2023 5:35 PM GMT
;^^^^caught you in the net(which I reckon was the point)the other is mares Nov on Thursday
Report impossible123 February 16, 2023 8:14 PM GMT
Champion Chase (this year); Ryanair; Bumper; Mares (novice); Mares Chase.
Report brandyontherocks February 16, 2023 8:44 PM GMT
How many competitive Ryanairs can you recall, Hib?

Allaho has danced in the last 2 years.
Report strontium February 16, 2023 9:12 PM GMT
Hibore - I wouldn't touch the Ryanair, I think it's often a terrific race. It inevitably weakens the Gold Cup and Champion Chase, at least in terms of field size, but mostly by filtering out horses that are two slow for one and won't stay the other. There are some exceptions - I'd like to have seen Vautor run in the Gold Cup.

However, I would bin the Turners. At that (novice) stage, trip preferences are less clear and shouldn't necessarily get pandered to. I don't see any compelling reason why novices shouldn't run in the Arkle or the RSA.
Report strontium February 17, 2023 1:50 PM GMT
I'd also dump the mare's weight allowance for the open grade 1s. Now there is a dedicated mares' hurdle (G1) and mares' chase (bound to be G1 within the next couple of years), the weight allowance they get against geldings is unsustainable. If connections want to run against geldings, they should do so off level weights.
Report Hibore February 17, 2023 2:50 PM GMT
I wouldn’t get rid of the Turners at all. Why make Novices run faster than they would want or try to stay further than they will in the future. Everyone wants a Gold Cup winner so I understand the argument for trying 3 miles (Allaho tried unsuccessfully), but Mighty Potter or Banbridge would get beat in both Arkle or Brown Advisory. The Turners / Ryanair are specialist distances and they are first and second favs.
Report strontium February 17, 2023 9:08 PM GMT
Everyone must have a sweetie.
Report sageform February 18, 2023 12:16 PM GMT
The race that could be removed is the 3 mile novice chase which can be a clue to a great chaser in the making but more often it bottoms good horses who never win much again. I remember Bob Turnell way back saying that Buona Notte, probably the best horse he trained, never got over the RSA as it then was although he appeared to win comfortably. The real one pacers can run in the 3 mile 6 furlongs but the future Gold Cup horses are better off in the Turners.
Report Bentring February 18, 2023 1:05 PM GMT
How many JLT/TURNERS winner's have won the gold cup bearing in mind there's only been 12 renewals
Report brandyontherocks February 19, 2023 12:08 AM GMT
Wouldn't agree with that, Sage.
Report irishone February 19, 2023 10:49 AM GMT
The National Hunt Chase bottoms out a lot of horses
Report jimnast February 20, 2023 10:38 AM GMT
In recent years the 3 mile novice chase the sun alliance chase didn’t do any harm to

Looks like trouble
Alberta’s run
Florida pearl
Lord Windermere
Al boom photo

And probably quite a few more
Report jimnast February 20, 2023 10:39 AM GMT
The race I would like to see go would be the turners that said only a couple of years ago it produced the race of the meeting with samcro,melon and faugheen.
Report duffy February 20, 2023 4:10 PM GMT
Don't forget Minella Indo and Allaho
Report jimnast February 20, 2023 4:28 PM GMT
Yes Duffy good call those two also long run and comply or die
Report jimnast February 20, 2023 4:30 PM GMT
Also mr mulligan who went on to win the following years gold cup
Report jimnast February 20, 2023 5:43 PM GMT
Minnihoma another one as long as I can remember people have said the sun alliance chase can ruin a horses career utter nonsense
Report ribero1 February 20, 2023 10:06 PM GMT
Nobody mentioned the Mares chase? a complete waste of time,may as well run it on Mullins's gallops.
Report irishone February 20, 2023 10:29 PM GMT
Jimnast its not "utter nonsense"

Sage is spot on
Its well known in the game mate

Check out the winners Chase record after RSA win

2000 Lord Noellie. 1\14

2002 Hussard Colonges 0\11 

2003 One Kight 1\8

2004 Rule Supreme 1\8

2005 Trabolgan 1\6

2006 Star De Mohaison 2\7

2007 Denman 5\14

2008 Albertas Run 5\23

2009 Cooldine 0\14

2010 Weapons Amnesty 0\0

2011 Bostons Angel 0\12

2012  Bobsworth 3\8

2013  Lord Windermere 1\14

2014  O'faolains Boy  1\10

2015  Don Paoli 2\16

2016  Blaklion 3\22

2017  Might Bite 4\12

2018  Presenting Percy 1\8

2019  Topofthegame 0\1

2020  Champ 0\2
Report irishone February 20, 2023 10:37 PM GMT
over three miles on a tight undulating course with an uphill finish plus a few too many smacks  aint for novices

3 gold cup winners out of 19 winners is poor outcome if its meant to be a trial for the gold cup
Report jimnast February 21, 2023 7:53 AM GMT
Garrison savannah won both irishone

Others that ran in the race who went on to win the gold cup

Mr mulligan
Long run
Al boom photo
Minnella info

Grand national winners

Comply or die

Others to have long and successful careers

Florida pearl
Our vic
Smad place
Young hustler
Run for free

I’m sure there be others

I don’t think that’s a bad return
Report jimnast February 21, 2023 8:27 AM GMT
Some others who ran in the race who didn’t do to badly post sun alliance

Native upmanship (would have won at least 5 Ryanair’s)
Harbour pilot
The listener
Alberta’s run
Silverburn (grand national winner for an unknown Gordon Elliott)
What a friend
The giant bolster
Don Cossack (a top class gold cup winner)
Many clouds
Report jimnast February 21, 2023 8:29 AM GMT
Going much further back

Spanish steps
Ten up
Tied cottage
Master smudge
Brown chamberlin
Report strontium February 21, 2023 12:18 PM GMT
This is a very interesting thread. It's clear that lots of people think that some races should be dumped, but have very different opinions about which ones and why. One major aspect of the program is tradition. For example, as far as I can see, no one has even suggested dumping the (Fox)Hunter, even though it's an anachronism. Hibore is right in a sense that, if we were starting now, 2 1/2 miles would probably be the "championship" trip for chasers, but tradition dictates it's 3 miles 2 f. In fact, starting now, we'd probably choose to run championship races at somewhere like Newbury or Haydock, rather than somewhere like Cheltenham (the same is true on the flat - 12 f at Epsom is decidedly odd for our "premier" flat race).

Ribero - I'd say give the Mares' Chase time. It's taken the Mares' Hurdle 15 years to build up, but it's a true Grade 1 now, and, arguably, the most competitive looking race of this festival (admittedly at a cost to the Champion Hurdle). Developing high-quality race mares is crucial for the sport. The Mares' Chase definitely has a place in the Festival, taking a long-term view.
Report jimnast February 21, 2023 12:53 PM GMT
2017 mares hurdle was a brilliant spectacle strontium
Report strontium February 21, 2023 1:07 PM GMT
2015 left quite an impression too. But my point is, that the race was criticised for many years for being pointless, a one horse race, and low quality. Now, we've got a super-competitive race. I would expect the Mares' Chase to go the same way, in time. In a sport that is very bad at taking a long term view, Cheltenham should be commended for introducing the Mares' Hurdle and now the Mares' Chase, and sticking with them, for the long-term good of the sport.
Report jimnast February 21, 2023 1:11 PM GMT
Blimey I can’t believe that’s already 8 years ago ,left quite an impression is an understatement over 60000 people stood with there mouths open at what they had witnessed incredible scenes.
Report sageform February 21, 2023 2:04 PM GMT
Not sure that the quantity of mares races is that healthy for the sport. No jump races are restricted to colts and geldings but far too many are mares only and are uncompetitive. The more small fields and odds on favs, the lower the betting turnover will be so less money trickling down to breeders.
Report strontium February 21, 2023 9:03 PM GMT
Sage - I agree that there are now far too many mares-only races overall, and too many mares listed hurdles/bumpers. But the pinnacle is OK.
Report irishone February 21, 2023 9:27 PM GMT
JIMNAST you are just picking names out of the air. !

From this Alleged Gold Cup rehearsal, the winners in the twenty years above only won 31 more times out of 210 furthermore attempts to win a steeple chase !

They were that good that the FACTS show they achieved a 14% success rate down the line..... You check upon all the also rans and other placed horses and you will find the win rate is even less pal.
Report jimnast February 22, 2023 6:09 AM GMT
On that basis irishone we might as well get rid of the triumph hurdle as only 4 horses have won the triumph and champion hurdle since it was first run in 1939,or you could just say the winner of the triumph is the champion juvenile and the winner of the sun alliance chase is the champion staying novice chaser.
Report penzance February 22, 2023 9:08 AM GMT
Silver Birch was Elliott's National wnr,ran in the
4 miler jimnast.
Agree with the RSA chse,nothing wrong with it.
Report jimnast February 22, 2023 10:58 AM GMT
Cheers penzance my mistake Blush
Report shlotter February 22, 2023 6:39 PM GMT
World National Hunt Festival Series (which by the way is secretly being mooted)
Far Hills
With the final series being at…
Report sageform February 23, 2023 8:37 AM GMT
And how many of the current GB or Irish NH trainers would take a horse to Japan?
Report strontium February 23, 2023 8:51 AM GMT
Nicholls did in the distant past. Mullins in the not so distant.
Report shlotter March 3, 2023 3:11 PM GMT
When you look at how some races are over subscribed then there is a case of a rejig
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